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"At Alaska Spice Company, we are proud of the guaranteed freshness of our herbs, spices, blends and teas, and we believe that discerning people like you appreciate our commitment to quality and service. We are continually searching for new herbs, spices, seasonings, and teas to delight and excite you.  If you are ever dissatisfied with any Alaska Spice products or our service, please e-mail Alaska Spice Company and we will gladly remedy any concerns or questions."

BUY ANY THREE DIP MIXES AND FISH SEASONINGS, GET ONE FREE* - ALWAYS!

Dip Mixes and Fish Seasonings! Your order will not reflect the free item, but we will include it with your order. E-mail us your request today!
(*Of equal or lesser value.)

Do something delicious for your life with Alaska Spice Company, your source for Alaskan Fish/Seafood Seasonings (specializing in Halibut and Salmon Seasonings), Alaskan Gourmet Dip Mixes, a wide selection of Loose-leaf Teas from around the world, assorted Herbs and Spices, and free recipes. Taste the difference in all your meals!

We offer nothing but the freshest, high-quality spices and blends, packaged in vapor-proof tamper-evident bags, which ensures that your seasonings arrive securely - ready to enhance your next dining experience.

We are committed to excellent customer service. Your satisfaction is guaranteed!


Please be assured that online ordering is safe and secure. However, if you would prefer to mail or fax your order or check shipping prices, you can print an order form here.

  Click here for our shipping rate chart.  


Alaska Spice
 

Alaska Spice Company is the home of world famous dipping sauces and gourmet dips and dip mixes. We offer nothing but the freshest, highest-quality spices and blends. Taste the difference in all your meals. Our first and primary concern is quality and freshness. We package our products in vapor proof tamper evident bags, which also helps to preserve the freshness. If you enjoy good food, you will be delighted with our seafood seasonings, dip mixes, spices, and teas. If you are ever dissatisfied with any of our products or our service, please e-mail Alaska Spice Company and we will gladly remedy any concerns or questions. We also have an excellent basting sauce for your seafood for both on the grill or the oven. We have gourmet dips, vegetable dips, sweet dips, spicy dips and more. Use on crackers, chips, pretzels, vegetables, fruits, cookies, etc. Our gourmet blends of seasonings, dips, and sauces, come complete with cooking suggestions. Try our Alaska Salmon dip mix with your favorite fresh vegetables or chips. The flavor and goodness of freshly picked herbs and spices blended into healthy gourmet seasonings and gourmet blends. Our Alaskan recipes of dip mixes and seasonings help a dish make the leap from bland to beautiful! Our packaged gourmet dips are perfect for gift giving. These gourmet blends, dips, sauces, seasonings, basting sauce, and Alaska recipes are also available wholesale. Don't forget the popcorn seasonings!
Fish Seasonings
Alaska Spice Company's is world-renown for the finest Gourmet Seasonings, Alaska fish seasonings, salmon seasonings, halibut seasonings, and many other types of fish seasonings you can think of. From Alaska, with just the right amount of herbs, seasonings, & spices, our Alaskan recipes for halibut seasonings, salmon seasonings, will put an extra zing into your halibut, salmon and fish specialty foods dishes. We offer nothing but the freshest, highest-quality spices and blends. Taste the difference in all your meals. Our first and primary concern is quality and freshness. We package our products in vapor proof tamper evident bags, which also helps to preserve the freshness. If you enjoy good food, you will be delighted with our seafood seasonings, dip mixes, spices, and teas. If you are ever dissatisfied with any of our products or our service, please e-mail Alaska Spice Company and we will gladly remedy any concerns or questions. We also recommend Alaska Spice Company's fish seasonings for your halibut and white fish seasonings needs. These gourmet blends of Alaska fish seasonings, salmon seasonings, halibut seasonings, seafood seasonings, and alder Grilling Planks are also available wholesale. Don't forget the popcorn seasonings!
Teas
Alaska Spice Company's tea supply comes from all over the world. If you enjoy good food, you will be delighted with our seafood seasonings, dip mixes, spices, and teas. If you are ever dissatisfied with any of our products or our service, please e-mail Alaska Spice Company and we will gladly remedy any concerns or questions. Whether you are seeking special herbs, black teas, green teas, herbal teas, chai teas, English teas, earl grey teas, flavored teas, rooibos teas (redbush) teas, fruit teas, tea information or just specialty teas information, Alaska Spice Company is sure to provide you with the best in products. Our first and primary concern is quality and freshness. We package our products in vapor proof tamper evident bags, which also helps to preserve the freshness. We have an excellent selection of black, herbal, rooibos, and green teas, packaged in loose-leaf form. If you have not used loose tea before you are in for a treat. The flavors and aromas are much more pronounced than bagged teas. A tea ball or infuser is the most convenient way to use loose tea. A 1-inch stainless mesh infuser is used for single cups and a 3-inch mesh ball is used in making a whole pot (or jug of sun tea). Herbal teas take longer to infuse than black teas and green teas. Be sure to bring water to a full boil, then pour over the tea infuser and steep for at least 10 minutes for full flavor and aroma.
Black Tea accounts for over 90% of the tea consumption in the western world. The characteristic flavors of black tea ranging from flowery to fruity, nutty and spicy emerge during the production process. Unlike green or oolong teas, black teas, during the production process, undergo a full oxidation (usually called fermentation), which causes the leaves to turn black and gives them their characteristic flavor. After picking, the green leaves are spread out on tiers of racks to wither for about 12 to 18 hours. During the long withering process, the leaves lose most of their moisture, becoming soft and pliable so they can be rolled. During the rolling, the membranes of the leaves are broken, allowing the juices and essential oils that give the tea its aroma to develop. After rolling, the leaves are brought into large, cool, humid rooms where they are spread in layers of about four inches high to oxidize. During the oxidation process, the leaf color darkens, and the initially bitter juices mellow. The characteristic flavors of black tea - ranging from flowery to fruity, nutty and spicy - begin to emerge. The oxidation process must be stopped at the point where the aroma and flavor have fully developed. This is done by firing the leaves in large ovens. The flavorful juices dry on the surface of the leaves and remain relatively stable until exposed to boiling water during infusion. In the last step, the leaves must be sorted by size. During the production process, many tea leafs are broken or crushed so that the finished tea consists of full leafs, broken leafs and smaller particles (fannings). Since the necessary steeping time increases with the size of the leaf, the tea must be sorted into lots of equal leaf size.
Rooibos Teas are fast growing in popularity among those looking for an alternative. Tea-like in cup color and character; rooibos tea is a naturally caffeine free herbal beverage rich in essential minerals. Rooibos, an African slang word of Dutch origin meaning" Red Bush." Its uses include tea, natural food coloring, and flavoring. Rooibos tea is harvested during the summer (Southern Hemisphere). Most of the tea is picked manually. The tea is then bruised and cut using tobacco cutting machines. At this stage, Rooibos is still green. Fermentation is essential in order to enhance the flavor of the tea. Rooibos is fermented in mounds and then spread out to dry in the sunlight. Fermentation turns the tea red. Rooibos' nick name "red bush" does not apply to a live plant since it is green until it is fermented. In the final process Rooibos is sterilized by steam, dried in commercial dryers, sifted and packaged. With its many positive attributes, Rooibos tea is a great choice of drink for health conscious people.

Rooibos tea contains no colors, additives or preservatives, making it a natural beverage. It contains no caffeine. According to studies conducted in South Africa and Japan Rooibos has been shown to aid in health problems such as insomnia, irritability, headaches, nervous tension, and hypertension.

Studies also show that this tea relieves anti-spasmodic agents, which can relieve stomach cramping and colic in infants.

In South Africa Rooibos has been used to treat allergies such as hay fever, asthma and eczema very effectively.

It is also used to treat irritated skin. Rooibos is brewed and placed directly on infected areas. Rooibos contains anti-oxidants which can help slow the aging process and boost the immune system.

Rooibos is a great thirst quencher and is an excellent beverage for active people, including children.

This tea contains no oxalic acid, making it a good beverage for people prone to kidney stones. Rooibos contains the minerals, copper, iron and potassium, calcium, fluoride, zinc, manganese, alpha-hydroxy acid (for healthy skin) and magnesium (for the nervous system) are also components of this tea. In South Africa pregnant women and nursing mothers drink Rooibos because it contains no caffeine.

There is nothing more satisfying and enjoyable than the fresh taste of our loose-leaf herbal teas. These delicious and nourishing beverages make a lovely compliment to your morning, an energy booster in the afternoon and, they represent the required relaxation we all deserve in the evenings.

Unlike conventional finely cut tea found in mass manufactured tea bags, our loose-leaf herbal tea is fresh, fragrant, tasty, longer lasting and far more economical. Herbal teas take longer to infuse than black teas and green teas. Be sure to bring water to a full boil, then pour over the tea infuser and steep for at least 10 minutes for full flavor and aroma.

  • There are many health benefits associated with drinking green tea. There are four primary polyphenols in green tea and they are often collectively referred to as catechins. Powerful antioxidants, catechins have been shown in recent studies to fight viruses, slow aging, and have a beneficial effect on health. Clinical tests have shown that catechins destroy free radicals and have far-reaching positive effects on the entire body. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules and fragments of molecules that can damage the body at the cellular level leaving the body susceptible to cancer, heart disease, and many other degenerative diseases. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant found in green tea, is at least 100 more times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells and DNA from damage believed to be linked to cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses. This antioxidant has twice the benefits of resveratrol, found in red wine. Reduces high blood pressure. Drinking green tea represses angiotensin II which leads to high blood pressure.
  • Lowers blood sugar. Green tea polyphenols and polysaccharides are effective in lowering blood sugar.
  • Fights cancer. There have been many studies that have shown that green tea catechins are effective at preventing cancer.

Green tea also boosts the immune system because of its high concentrations of polyphenols and flavenoids

All of our teas whether black tea, herbal tea, rooibos tea, or green tea will be sure to excite and satisfy your taste buds for a great sensation and will calm and stimulate your senses. As with all of our products, your satisfaction is guaranteed. We have an assortment of black, herbal, and rooibos teas available for wholesale.

Spices
We offer nothing but the freshest, highest-quality spices and blends. Taste the difference in all your meals. Our first and primary concern is quality and freshness. We package our products in vapor proof tamper evident bags, which also helps to preserve the freshness. If you enjoy good food, you will be delighted with our seafood seasonings, dip mixes, spices, and teas. If you are ever dissatisfied with any of our products or our service, please e-mail Alaska Spice Company and we will gladly remedy any concerns or questions. Alaska Pepper, Alaska Spices, gourmet blends, steak seasoning, cayenne, spices for cooking, cooking suggestions, Currys, Curry Powder, and Spice Information is available through the Alaska Spice Company. Each of our spices and seasonings include cooking suggestions and uses for the individual spices. Also, to ensure the longevity of your spices, please review our recommended storage tips. We have a few of our spices and spice blends available for wholesale. Don't forget the popcorn seasoning!

Recipes
The Alaska Spice Company uses a wonderful combination of specialty seasonings, gourmet spices and gourmet seasonings to offer you world-class cooking suggestions and spice information. Please visit our section of Cooking with Herbs. Our specialty blends and gourmet recipes can be used with any of our unique recipes, seasonings information, gourmet blends and Alaska Fish Seasonings. We have free recipes for Salmon, Halibut, Alaska Recipes, Alaskan Recipes, sauces, sweet recipes, recipes for baking, etc. Interested in learning how to cook with cayenne peppers? Alaska Spice Company is your premium cooking site. Be sure to inquire

Please be assured that online ordering is safe and secure. However, if you would prefer to mail or fax your order you can print an order form here


Alaska Seafood: Natural is healthiest

The icy waters surrounding Alaska's 34,000 mile coastline host the most abundant and healthy seafood stocks in the world. This natural, pristine habitat hosts seafood with a lean, firm texture and superior flavor.

Although Alaska is, by far, the largest state in the union, it has a population less than an average U.S. city. Owing to this small population and its remote location, Alaska hosts the cleanest and most natural marine environment of its size on earth. This environment ensures Alaska Seafood has superior flavor and texture. Pure, natural seafood as nature intended.

Curiously, the quality of Alaska Seafood is also determined by what it doesn't contain. Alaska's marine habitats are nearly pollution-free compared to the rest of the world. Feeding on organic marine organisms, Alaska Seafood is additive-free and provides healthful, natural vitamins, minerals, nutrients and heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats.

The State of Alaska recognizes seafood as a precious natural resource, and the seafood industry as a vital component of the state's economy. Therefore, Alaska leads the nation in resource management, quality control and conservation to ensure that Alaska Seafood remains the world's finest for future generations.


Alaska wild salmon is one of nature's original health foods:

It's a wholesome food choice that's totally compatible with caring for the environment. Conventional wisdom says that a healthy diet is one that is low in fat and - invariably - short on flavor. We beg to differ. And so do millions of connoisseurs of Alaska seafood the world over. Alaska is fish country. For thousands of years, the fishes of Alaska's seas and rivers have supported human use, from fisheries used by Alaska's indigenous Native peoples since prehistoric times, to today's modern seafood industry. Alaska is home to abundant stocks of many species of fish, and offers some of the cleanest marine, freshwater, and upland habitats in the world. Effective state and federal institutions manage fisheries that are productive and sustainable, clean and healthy. Alaska is the only State in the nation whose Constitution explicitly mandates that all fish, including salmon, shall be utilized, developed, and maintained on the sustained yield principle. Here are some examples of Alaska's unique fisheries management and pristine environment.

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Check out our fish seasonings and seafood seasonings!

If you enjoy good food, you will be delighted with our seasonings, dip mixes, spices, and teas. If you are ever dissatisfied with any products or service, please e-mail Alaska Spice Company and we will gladly remedy any concerns or questions.

Wholesale information also available.
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GRILLING TIPS

A Few Minutes On A Hot Grill Will convince You.

Alaska Seafood, it's a natural for outdoor cooking. Whether it's Alaska salmon, halibut, pollock, cod, sole, or shellfish, it's always delicious, healthy and takes just minutes to prepare. By following these basic grilling tips you can make sure your Alaska Seafood will be a big hit every time.

PREPARING THE FIRE

Starting The Fire. Group briquettes into a pyramid and ignite. When the flame has died down and coals are covered with gray ash (about 40 minutes), spread coals in a single layer with a surface area slightly larger than food being grilled.

Temperature. Fish cooks best over a medium-hot fire; shellfish require a hot fire. The proper temperature for a medium-hot fire can be determined by holding your hand about three inches above the grill. The heat should be intense enough to force you to move your hand in about two seconds.

Controlling The Fire. Keep a squirt or spray bottle handy to extinguish flare-ups.

Covered Cooking. For a smokier flavor, cover the grill during cooking. Adding water-soaked hardwood chips to the fire adds subtle flavor variations. Woods like alder, mesquite, hickory, maple and oak add the most distinctive tastes.

Gas & Electric Grills. These grills provide a smooth even source of heat. Since neither gets as hot as a wood or charcoal fire, it's safe to use the highest heat setting. Turn on the heat source about 10 minutes before cooking to heat up the grill.

PREPARING THE GRILL

Cleaning. Always start with a super clean grill. After each use, clean the grid with a steel brush while it is still warm.

Coating. To keep seafood from sticking to the grill, slice a raw potato in half length-wise. Once the grill is hot, slide the cut potato down the grill in one direction only. It should make a loud hissing noise. The starch from the potato will coat the grill and act like a natural form of Teflon®.

Heating. Make sure the grid is hot before you start grilling.

PREPARING THE SEAFOOD

Sizing. Cut large loin steaks or fillets into meal-size portions before grilling. They cook faster and are easier to handle.

Preparing. Oil fish very lightly just before cooking. A large portion may be wrapped in a strip of bacon, much as you would a fillet mignon. This bastes the fish while holding it together.

Turning. Turn seafood only once. When cooking fish fillets, always start with the skin side up. If the skin has been removed, the skin side will appear slightly darker. By cooking this way, the natural fat carried beneath the skin will be drawn into the fillet, keeping it rich and moist. When turned, this leaves the more attractive side up for a perfect presentation.
For easy turning, use a two-prong kitchen fork inserted between the grill bars to slightly lift the fish, then slide a metal spatula under the fish and turn.

Timing. Avoid overcooking. Seafood changes from translucent to opaque as it cooks and continues to cook slightly when it's removed from the heat. Cook fish 6 to 12 minutes per inch of thickness. Remove when just opaque throughout.

Seasoning. Alaska Seafood is delicious with a wide variety of herbs and seasonings. Baste your seafood with Italian salad dressing, white vermouth, lemon juice or even mayonnaise blended with garlic and seasonings.

Quick and Easy Packet Cooking. Try this idea for a complete meal prepared and grilled in less than 30 minutes. Top a seafood fillet with a favorite vegetable and seasonings on a sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap and seal foil to form a packet. Make just one packet or as many as you need. Grill on a hot covered grill 15 to 20 minutes.

Fish Boat. Season your favorite fish fillets. Shape a sheet of Reynolds Wrap® heavy duty aluminum foil around fish to make a fish boat for grilling. Foil keeps fish from falling through the grill rack, while the fish takes on a great grilled flavor.

Grill Roasted Seafood Vegetable Salad. Turn grill-roasted vegetables into a delicious salad by serving with grilled salmon over mixed salad greens and drizzling with balsamic vinegar or your favorite salad dressing.

Hold In Heat. Keep grilled seafood and other grilled foods hot until serving time by wrapping them in Reynolds Wrap® aluminum foil to keep the just-grilled flavor, then refrigerate. Foil also prevents odors from transferring to other foods in your refrigerator.

There's no mystery to grilling seafood. It's quick, easy and by following these basic tips, almost guaranteed to be delicious. But don't be afraid to experiment. Try new recipes, new flavorings. And remember to start with the finest seafood on earth, Alaska Seafood.


Wild Alaska Seafood Grilling Tips:

Preparing the Grill:

  • Fish cooks best over a medium-hot fire; shellfish require a hot grill.
  • Make sure the grill is hot before you start cooking.
  • Liberally brush oil on the grill just prior to cooking.

Cooking Seafood:

  • Cut large steaks or fillets into meal-size portions before grilling.
  • Use a grill basket or perforated grill rack to keep flaky fish or smaller shellfish from falling through the grill bars.
  • Oil fish/shellfish very lightly just before cooking.
  • Always start fish with the skin side up. If the skin has been removed, the skin side will appear slightly darker. This allows the natural fat carried beneath the skin to be drawn into the fillet, keeping it rich and moist.
  • Turn seafood only once. For easy turning, use a two prong kitchen fork inserted between the grill bars to slightly lift the fish, then slide a metal spatula under the fish and turn.
  • Cook fish approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Seafood continues to cook after it's removed from the heat so take it off the heat just as soon as it is opaque throughout. . To check for doneness, slide a sharp knife tip into the center of the thickest part of a cooking seafood portion, checking for color. Remove from the heat just as soon as it turns from translucent to opaque throughout.

View our tea information or just specialty teas information for your next cup of hot brew. Our rich collection of spices includes Alaska Pepper, Lemon Pepper, Crystallized Ginger, Curry Blends, Curry, Curry Powder, Greek Seasoning, Thai Seasonings, Oriental Seasoning, Garlic & Herb Seasoning popcorn seasonings, Yukon, Klondike, Matanuska, Creole, Tarragon Mustard, Tanana Valley Ranch, Yukon Spinach, Denali Dill, Arctic Pesto, Alaska Spice Company Cayenne, Dip Mixes, Kenai River, Copper River Basting Sauces, Creole Seafood Seasoning, Alaskan Seafood Boil, and others. Be sure to visit our recipes section for tea information, specialty seasonings, gourmet spices and gourmet seasonings to offer you world-class cooking suggestions. Also, to ensure the longevity of your spices, please review our recommended storage tips. Our specialty blends and gourmet recipes can be used with any of our unique recipes, seasonings information, gourmet blends and Alaska Fish Seasonings.


Facts on Alaska Halibut

Serving size: 3oz. (85 grams) Steamed Edible Portion
Calories 115
Protein (g) 22
Total Fat (g) 2.5
Saturated (g) .5
Monounsaturated (g) 1.0
Unsaturated (g) 2.0
Carbohydrate (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 60
Potassium (mg) 460
Cholesterol (mg) 35
PACKAGING SPECIFICATIONS
Product Forms Carton Size Portion Size
Steaks and fillets, individually
vacuum-packed 10, 15, 20 lbs. 4 to 10 oz.
Loins 10, 15, 20 lbs. 4 to 10 oz.
Fletch
(boneless, skinless whole fillets) 50 lbs. 8 to 12 lbs.

Halibut in season: Fresh fish is low in fat and delicious

'Tis the season for fresh halibut. But don't let the price put you off: You can get three to four servings from a pound, which means that for the family, a home-cooked halibut dinner can cost less than a fast-food meal.

Too often overshadowed by pink-colored salmon, fresh halibut's succulent white meat is low in fat and has a sweet, mild flavor that lends itself to many ways of cooking.

Halibut is abundant in the waters of the North Pacific. It is a member of the flatfish family, with both eyes on the upper side of its body. The fish burrows beneath the sea floor to avoid detection by prey and predators.

"Halibut season starts now and runs to mid-November, At the beginning of the season, fresh Pacific fillets run $14 to $16 per pound. During the season, the price comes down to $12 or $13 per pound. "It's the cost of shipping fresh salmon," Mr. Chipps says of the price difference.

Pacific halibut can weigh up to 500 to 700 pounds and grow to more than nine feet long. Most of the fish range between 50 and 100 pounds. Young halibut weigh between 2 and 10 pounds.

The icy waters surrounding Alaska's 34,000-mile coastline host an abundant and healthy seafood stock. In January, the International Pacific Halibut Commission voted to open the fishing season two weeks early. Alaskan halibut are caught with longlines, meaning that each fish is caught individually so that the fish are not bruised during harvesting. To maintain freshness and quality, the halibut are shipped from Anchorage via commercial jets to Eastern U.S. destinations within 24 hours of harvest. The annual catch of halibut is regulated by the commission.

Fish, including halibut, are low in fat and sodium, and are excellent sources of protein. Fatty fish have more omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

Locally, fresh halibut is sold primarily as fillets, but can be cut into steaks, which still have bones and are great for grilling.

The fish is easy to cook on the grill or stovetop, or in the oven. It is often served with a variety of sauces.

Italian-style Halibut with Tomatoes and White Beans is broiled halibut served atop a ragout of tomatoes and great Northern beans. It is seasoned with garlic and basil for a delicious flavor. It cooks quickly.

Halibut also can be baked. In Baked Halibut with Avocado Cream Sauce, the fish is coated with flour and egg, browned, and baked. With Halibut en Papillote, the halibut nestles with artichoke hearts, peppers, and tomatoes in parchment paper packets and is baked.

Halibut steaks may be easier to grill than fillets on a conventional grill (oil the grates well). The excellent texture of halibut holds together nicely, making it possible to flip the pieces without breaking them. Steve Raichlen in Raichlen's Indoor! Grilling uses a contact grill for cooking halibut fillets; you simply close the lid and you don't have to use a spatula for turning the fish.

Halibut fillets should glisten with no signs of browning or gaping, and they should smell like seawater. They should have no strong fishy or ammonialike smell.

(But the truth is that most consumers never get close enough to the raw fish to get a whiff: If there's not a glass partition between the seafood case and the shopper, there's a plastic packaging. In rare cases, customers are able to smell the fish before buying.)

When storing seafood, keep it very cold. After buying, store the fish as soon as possible on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, which is the coolest area.

When cooking halibut, measure the thickness at its thickest point. Cook 10 minutes for each inch of thickness. It should flake easily with a fork when cooked thoroughly; and it should be white throughout, not translucent.

Recommended herbs are dill, chives, and tarragon. Other seasonings that pair well with halibut are paprika, grated ginger root, garlic, and lemon pepper.

Basting agents for halibut include orange juice, lemon and lime juices, white wine, and teriyaki. Because of the tenderness of halibut, it is not recommended to marinate more than 20 minutes.

Other additions might include slivered almonds, macadamia nuts, lemon wedges, chopped parsley or chives, and mango or papaya chutney.

As for the history of this fish, halibut gets its name from "haly-butte" in Middle English, which meant the fish was only to be eaten on holy days.

Laura Fleming, spokesman for Alaska Seafood, notes that the Pacific halibut is a different and larger species than Atlantic halibut, which is not found in as much quantity commercially.

  • Alaska wild salmon are plentiful. More than 213 million salmon were commercially harvested in Alaska in 1999. This was the second largest harvest of salmon in Alaska history, and exceeded the predicted harvest by 51 million.
  • The average harvest for the 1990's was about 185 million salmon representing five different species. There are five species of salmon harvested in Alaska: king (chinook), coho (silver), sockeye (red), pink (humpback) and chum (keta).
  • In Alaska, the wild fish come first. This principle has always guided the State of Alaska's management of fisheries resources. Sustained-yield management is mandated by Alaska's Constitution. When commercial salmon fishermen in Alaska go fishing, they are harvesting from a complex of healthy wild salmon stocks, and they harvest the resource on a sustainable basis. (Alaska's salmon fishery has also been certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.) During the salmon season biologists assess the returns at key streams and rivers to make sure that spawning salmon are allowed to "escape" to their home streams in sufficient numbers to produce future generations. Achieving this goal takes precedence over opportunities for commercial harvest.
  • Alaska is the world leader in protecting and maintaining salmon habitat. Alaska's salmon harvesters and processors care for the resource. The public, together with Alaska salmon fishermen and processors advocate for strong state laws to protect the healthy watersheds and habitat on which salmon stocks depend. The State of Alaska's fisheries managers remain firmly committed to the long-term health of watersheds, riparian areas, and wild the salmon stocks. With support from Alaska's salmon harvesters and processors, Alaska has conducted successful stock rebuilding programs that benefit Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
  • No salmon of Alaska origin are considered "threatened" or "endangered." The U.S. Commerce Department, National Marine Fisheries Service, recently announced the addition of nine populations of salmon and steelhead in Washington and Oregon to listings under the Endangered Species Act (eight as "threatened" and one as "endangered"). None of these are salmon indigenous to Alaska streams.
  • Alaska is one of the most important wild salmon-producing areas in the world. During the 1980's and 1990's, Alaska's yearly share of the world's wild salmon catch has run between 35% and 49%. Alaska wild salmon is one of nature's original health foods: it's a wholesome food choice that's totally compatible with caring for the environment.


Alaska Seafood: A Clean Bill of Health

The State of Alaska is conducting a comprehensive testing of its seafood species for contaminants. The results of the study relating to methylmercury and other heavy metals is complete. Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski considered the new information affirming the purity of Alaska seafood to be so important that he called a press conference to announce that Alaska Seafood has a "clean bill of health."
On the basis of this extensive research, as well as on the basis of research involving Alaskans who consume great quantities of seafood, the state's public health officials have advised the unrestricted consumption of Alaska seafood by everyone.
Read the press release about Governor Murkowski's announcement.
http://www.gov.state.ak.us/archive.php?id=550&type=1
Alaska Division of Public Health, Dept. of Health and Social Services recommends continued unrestricted consumption of fish from Alaska waters by all Alaskans, including pregnant women and young children. Read this recommendation http://www.epi.hss.state.ak.us/bulletins/docs/b2001_06.htm
Due to the renewed public concern about mercury in seafood, the Alaska Division of Public Health conducted a mercury biomonitoring study, testing Alaskans who consume lots of seafood, and results support the continued unrestricted consumption of fish from Alaska waters. Learn about the biomonitoring study, and the results so far.
http://www.epi.hss.state.ak.us/bulletins/docs/b2002_11.htm
http://www.epi.hss.state.ak.us/bulletins/docs/b2003_20.pdf
Division of Public Health also finds that PCB levels found in individual Alaska salmon are low, and are not of human health concern
http://www.epi.hss.state.ak.us/bulletins/docs/b2003_28.htm


Good News: Contaminants Very Low in Alaska Fish

By Joyce A. Nettleton, DSc, RD
With every report on contaminants in fish, people wonder if it is safe to eat fish. How can people determine whether mercury, dioxins, pesticide residues, or other substances are increasing their chance of developing cancer or something else? These are important questions that don't have simple answers, because the chance of developing a health problem from contaminants in foods depends on many factors. Frequently we don't have enough solid information to reasonably estimate health risk. However, recent data from the state of Alaska are encouraging. Environmental contaminants in Alaska fish are very low, particularly in salmon, cod, pollock, and other species. From 2001 to 2002, the state of Alaska, in cooperation with other government agencies and fishing organizations, collected over 600 samples of Alaska fish species for detailed chemical analysis. These samples, analyzed with the most up-to-date methods, provide the most reliable estimates of environmental contaminants in Alaska fish.
Are All Fish Contaminated?
Fish accumulate chemicals from the environment because contaminants from pollution and waste incinerators wash into lakes and rivers, eventually reaching the ocean. Some degrade slowly and can spread around the world. Heavy metals such as mercury, pesticide residues, and other compounds move up the food chain from plankton to small fish and larger fish that eat smaller ones. For this reason, nearly all fish have traces of contaminants. However, only a few species and sizes of fish contain relatively large amounts. These include larger older fish, some carnivorous species that eat other fish, and fish from polluted waters. Some recreationally caught fish may have higher contaminant levels than Alaska fish and other commercially available fish. The good news is that, because the production of many harmful chemicals has ended, levels of many contaminants in fish have been slowly decreasing.
Which Contaminants Are Risky?
Not all contaminants pose a serious health risk and most people, including those who eat fish several times a week, consume only very small amounts. Increased levels of contaminants have been observed mainly in people who frequently eat fish known to have higher contaminant levels. To minimize intake of contaminants without sacrificing the health benefits of seafood, eat mostly fish known to be low in contaminants. Eating a variety of fish species reduces the risks from contaminants. The healthiest fish choices are those high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in contaminants, like Alaska salmon.
Mercury
The contaminant of greatest concern is mercury, found in fish as methylmercury. Mercury is a risk mainly for pregnant women and young children. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should also avoid eating fish with high mercury levels. Mercury can potentially damage the brain during fetal and infant development. For this reason, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises pregnant and nursing women and young children to avoid eating shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel, which are high in mercury. For all other adults, small amounts of mercury from seafood have very little risk. High blood mercury levels may be linked to cardiovascular disease, but so far the data are inconclusive. In contrast, the cardiovascular benefits of eating seafood are well established. Eating a variety of fish, especially those known to be low in contaminants, protects health and minimizes risks. Mercury is distributed throughout fish tissues, so removing the skin and draining the fat have little effect on mercury content. The maximum amount of mercury in seafood permitted by the FDA is one part/million (1 ppm). According to recent Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation data, all five species of Alaska salmon have less than one thirtieth of FDA's permitted level, averaging 0.027 ppm1. Alaska cod and pollock also have low levels, averaging 0.07 ppm, less than one tenth of FDA's permitted level. These species are among the lowest in mercury content in FDA's database of commercial fish species2.
Organic Contaminants
Organic contaminants include mainly PCBs, dioxins, and various pesticide residues. These substances persist in the environment for years, degrading only slowly. Although manufacture of PCBs and several pesticides ended in the 1970s, these substances continue to be detected at low levels in many species of fish and other foods. Dioxins, chemically related to PCBs, enter the environment from activities such as waste incineration, forest fires, and volcanic eruptions. Environmental levels of PCBs and dioxins have been decreasing for the past 30 years. Adverse health effects from PCBs and dioxins have occurred almost exclusively in industrial workers and children of mothers exposed to levels 100 to 1000 times above background3,4. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers PCBs and dioxins probable carcinogens, the agency concluded that there was "no clear indication of increased disease in the general population attributable to dioxin-like compounds5." Current exposure through eating commercially available fish has not been associated with any health risks. Although much publicity has been given to differences in the amounts of organic contaminants in wild and farmed fish from various parts of the world, all reported levels have been well below safe limits set by the FDA, EPA, and the World Health Organization. On balance, the health risks for people who do not eat fish are greater than for those who do. Certain pesticide residues can be detected in the environment and at trace levels in some fatty fish, even though manufacture of 51 of the most harmful pesticides has been banned in the U.S. Alaska fish were analyzed for over 40 pesticides and fewer than one quarter of the samples had detectable levels, all less than one thousandth of FDA's guidelines for these substances. Thus, risk from pesticide residues from Alaska fish is essentially negligible.
Minimizing Contaminant Intake
The best way to ensure the lowest levels of contaminants is to eat fish known to have low levels, such as Alaska-caught fish. These include salmon, cod, and pollock. Vary the types of fish and shellfish you eat to further reduce risk. Cook fish so that the fat drains away, taking with it possible organic contaminants.
Conclusion: Recent analyses confirm that popular Alaska fish-salmon, cod, and pollock-present negligible health risks from mercury and organic contaminants such as PCBs and dioxins. These fish can safely be consumed any time by people of all ages. The well recognized health benefits of consuming fish regularly for heart health, infant development during pregnancy and nursing, immune function, and other conditions far outweigh potential risks from trace levels of contaminants. 5/05 4/41/A0l5as ka Dept. Environmental Conservation:
http://www.state.ak.us/dec/eh/docs/vet/FMP_hg_Data.pdf
2 Mercury Content of Commercial Fish and shellfish:
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~frf/sea-mehg.html
3 ToxFAQs for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs):
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts17.html
4 Questions and answers about dioxins:
http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/dioxinqa.html
5 EPA. Exposure and health assessment for 2,3,7,8- tetrachloroodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related compounds. 2000. Washington, DC, USA:NCEA Office of Research and Development, EPA.

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